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Fire forces wind farm halt; Investigation into blaze at Ravenshoe project

A far North Queensland wind farm has been temporarily shut down while investigations into what sparked a turbine to catch fire at the site this week are carried out.

Fire crews were called to the Windy Hill wind farm near Ravenshoe at about 3pm on Tuesday, with emergency services quickly establishing an excludion zone.

It is understood the fire was contained within a turbine nacelle, the cover housing the generating components.

No injuries to Ratch Australia Corporation staff, TWPS personnel or the public were reported.

[See photos at earlier story.]

Ratch has begun an investigation into the blaze at the company’s wind farm.

Company spokesman Simon Greenacre said it would likely take several weeks to get to the bottom of the cause of the fire, which lasted just over an hour.

Investigations will be carried out by Ratch technicians.

“We’re eager to confirm the cause as we’ve experienced 18 years of operation without incident,” Mr Greenacre said.

“We have temporarily shut down the wind farm while we conduct a thorough investigation of all the turbines.”

Mr Greenacre said that while turbine design life was 20 to 25 years, the turbines were well serviced and any electrical componentry was replaced as required.

“We maintain our assets to the highest standards,” he said.

“Our findings will hopefully support us in reducing the risk of it happening again.”

Mr Greenacre assured local communities that there would be no interruption to electricity supply.

Windy Hill was the first wind farm to be constructed in Queensland.

Construction of the 20-turbine wind farm started in 1999 with the turbine commissioning in 2000.